• Institutions of Government

    Basic Level: Be able to . . .

    1. Explain how the different branches of government work?
    2. Explain how the different branches of government work together?
    3. Explain how the different branches of government check the powers of one another?

    Advanced Understanding: Be able to . . .

    1. Analyze our government structure and determine the key factors that make our government an efficient or inefficient form of government.
    2. Analyze our government structure and assess its ability to respond to rapid changes occurring and predicted to occur in our world.
    3. Determine whether the way our government works to benefit all citizens or to favor some citizens over others.


    Chapter Learning Goals

    Chapter 6: Congress
    6.1: Trace the roots of the legislative branch outlined by the U.S. Constitution
    6.2: Characterize the demographic attributes of members of Congress, and identify factors that affect their chances for reelection
    6.3: Assess the role of the committee system, political parties, and congressional leadership in organizing Congress
    6.4: Identify three of the most significant powers of Congress
    6.5: Analyze the factors that influence how members of Congress make decisions
    6.6: Evaluate the strategic interactions between Congress, the president, the courts, and the people.

    Guiding Questions:

    1.        How well does Congress represent the diverse population of the nation? Why?

    2.        What are the most important powers of Congress? 

    3.        Was/is Congress designed to make changes quickly? How?

    Chapter 7: The Presidency
    7.1: Trace the development of the presidency and the provisions for choosing and replacing presidents
    7.2: Identify and describe the constitutional powers of the president
    7.3: Evaluate the development and expansion of presidential power
    7.4: Outline the structure of the presidential establishment and the functions of each of its components
    7.5: Explain the concept of presidential leadership and analyze the importance of public opinion
    7.6: Assess the president’s role as policy maker

    Guiding Questions:

    1.        How has the presidency changed over time?

    2.        Is the president too powerful? Why?

    3.        How do popularity polls of the president affect a successful presidency? Why?


    Chapter 8: The Executive Branch and the Federal Bureaucracy
    8.1: Trace the growth and development of the federal bureaucracy
    8.2: Describe modern bureaucrats, and outline the structure of the modern bureaucracy
    8.3: Determine how the bureaucracy makes policy
    8.4: Evaluate controls designed to make agencies more accountable 

    Guiding Questions:

    1.        How has the bureaucracy changed over time?

    2.        What determines the effectiveness of individual bureaucratic agencies?

    3.        What makes a bureaucratic regulation good or bad? Why?


    Chapter 9 The Judiciary
    9.1: Trace the development of the federal judiciary and the origins of judicial review
    9.2: Explain the organization of the federal court system
    9.3: Outline the criteria and process used to select federal court judges
    9.4: Evaluate the Supreme Court’s process for accepting, hearing, and deciding cases
    9.5: Analyze the factors that influence judicial decision making
    9.6: Assess the role of the Supreme Court in the policy-making process

    Guiding Questions:

    1.        Which is better, judicial activism or judicial restraint? Why?

    2.        Should Supreme Court justices have term limits? If yes, explain the term and conditions you would set? Why?

    3.        In what way or ways do you think the federal courts have too much or too little power? Why?


    Chapter 6

    Bicameral legislature
    Conference committee
    Congressional review
    Discharge petition
    Divided government
    Joint committee
    Majority leader
    Majority party
    Minority leader
    Minority party
    Party caucus
    President pro tempore
    Select (or special) committee
    Senatorial courtesy
    Speaker of the House
    Standing committee
    Unified government
    War Powers Resolution

    Chapter 7

    22nd Amendment
    25th Amendment
    Executive agreements
    Executive Office of the President (EOP)
    Executive orders
    Executive privilege
    Inherent powers
    Line-item veto
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
    Signing statements
    U.S. v Nixon (1974)
    War Powers Resolution

    Chapter 8

    Administrative adjudication
    Administrative discretion
    Civil service system
    Federal bureaucracy
    Government corporations
    Hatch Act
    Independent executive agencies
    Independent regulatory commission
    Interagency councils
    Iron triangles
    Issue networks
    Merit system
    Pendleton Act
    Policy coordinating committees
    Rule making
    Spoils system

    Chapter 9

    Amicus curiae
    Appellate court
    Appellate jurisdiction
    Constitutional courts
    Judicial activism
    Judicial implementation
    Judicial restraint
    Judicial review
    Judiciary Act of 1789
    Legislative courts
    Marbury v. Madison (1803)
    Original jurisdiction
    Rule of Four
    Senatorial courtesy
    Solicitor general
    Stare decisis
    Strict constructionist
    Trial court
    Writ of certiorari